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Great Englishwomen

M. B. Synge

Book Overview: 

Great Englishwomen is a collection of biographies of some of the greatest women in England’s history. Women who were leaders of their country in troubled times, women who were reformers in prison conditions, and those who sought improvement in the education and living conditions of the poor. Some were great painters, poets, and writers.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .On being told to do homage to young Henry for Aquitaine, he refused; whereupon Henry and Geoffrey marched against him. But peace[Pg 18] was made. Nevertheless, the people of Aquitaine were more enraged than ever. In their eyes Eleanor was their chief, and Henry had no power over them, except through her and by affectionate treatment of her. Now she was in prison,—Eleanor, the princess of their old stock,—the princess born among them, brought up in their midst.

“Daughter of Aquitaine,” sang the troubadours, “thou hast been torn from thy country and led into a strange land. Return, poor prisoner, return to thy faithful cities, if thou canst; if thou canst not, weep and cry, ‘Alas, how long is my exile!’ Raise thy voice like a trumpet, that thy sons may hear thee; for the day is at hand when thy sons shall deliver thee, and then thou shalt see thy native land again!”

In 1183 young Henry the heir died. When he . . . Read More

Community Reviews

I think this book was a very good and ambitious idea especially considering the time period it was written in, but one can't help notice that there are quite a few "great" englishwomen that were not included (i.e. Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria). I find it very odd that these women would be left

I liked the book as I'm a fan of Synge's style. However, like other reviewers before me, I was quite surprised that so many famously great English women were absent from the list. With that said, I do believe it was the author's idea to highlight the stories of some of the not-so-popular ladies who